In the arts and humanities, a primary source is a source created during the historical period being studied. It documents the subject of study in some way. In the sciences, "primary source" refers to an original research study.
This page focuses on primary sources for the arts and humanities. Examples of such primary sources include:
|Newspaper accounts||Letters, diaries, and scrapbooks|
(research data, statistics,
congressional transcripts, laws, etc.)
|Images and museum artifacts||Speeches|
|Data from scientific experiments||Oral histories|
Learn to tell the difference between primary and secondary sources by playing the Wheel of Sources.
If you are looking for a specific item, search by title or author. Combine your topic with any of the following terms to locate primary sources:
If your topic relates to an event that occurred before 1923, there are likely relevant primary sources available in the public domain. Google Books has digitized and made available many such books.
Search for a specific work or for a general topic. Note, however, that Google Books also lists resources that are only available to preview. Look for resources with publication dates before 1923 and with a Read Preview link. The Advanced Book Search allows you to limit to Full view only books.
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